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This may sound stupid but I'll start at the beginning then it might make sense. We had a wonderful lab for nearly 12 years, he had a few health problems, starting with what was probably CECS but treated as epilepsy when he was six, he suffered badly with arthritis, again starting when he was about 6 in his elbows, but he was a wonderful, wonderful dog and we loved and worshipped him - he ought to have been called Prince as he was treated like royalty. We were devastated when we lost him in may, and said we would not have another lab because he was so unique and such a character and also they do get some health problems.

Anyway we have looked at no end of rescue dogs but can't find one that suits us and our lovely spaniel/collie cross Jess. So we are veering towards a lab again as they are so wonderful, does anyone know any particular "strain" of labs which are healthier than others or is it just the luck of the draw? Life just isn't the same without a lab in it. Maybe we'll get a black one this time or a little girl??
 

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Awwwww, I can tell how much you loved your old lab.

Like many other pedigree dogs, labs as a breed have some inherent health problems. They are not unique in that. I don't know whether there is any real difference healthwise between working or showlines, or between the three different colours of lab. I guess the best you can do is go to a responsible breeder who takes care to breed from stock whose health test results are good. Hipscore, elbow score and clear eyes (preferably optigen clear) as a minimum. It doesn't guarantee no problems, but it is the best you can do.

Remember that looking at forums such as these can give a false impression of the number of problems. People look to the internet when they encounter problems, either physical or behavioural and LF features highly on Google searches. Therefore, it is possible to look on LF and think that these problems must be everywhere when they may not be. :wink:
 
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I really do think it is the Luck of the Draw whether you get a healthy Lab or not. I would only buy from a breeder that tests for as many things as you can test for, purely because then I know they have done all they can to TRY to prevent any future problems. But as with nearly every pedigree animal, there are genetic problems lurking and you never really know when they will appear.

Like you I was torn. I desperately love Labs, yet every pedigree animal I've ever had has had health problems, whereas my cross breeds and mongrels have been revoltingly healthy. I am just praying this time I'll be lucky.
 

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You can feel how much you loved Brad by the way you speak of him. I think if you get another lab you can only follow the advise and get from reputable breeder who does al health tests, then the rest is down the individual dog.

As you i know i lost my lovely Madison and knew instantly that i needed another lab.. We lost Madison early in her life to cancer, just right rotten luck.

So we have done everything in our power to get a healthy puppy, will just have to wait and see what his life brings us.
 

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Very sorry to hear about Brad :( He sounded wonderful.

You'll get lots of advice on here about how to find a good breeder. I don't think there are any guarantees (edit: I mean about health, not about finding a good breeder!) but taking your time to research first will help.

I can't help on that front as my dogs are rescues.

On the subject of rescue dogs, have you tried any Lab rescues? There are Labs in both breed rescue and general rescue. I've adopted Labs, a collie type and various crossbreeds and they've always got on great together :)

Good luck :flower:
 

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Your love for Brad shines through, as the others have said there are no agurantees that even if all possible health checks are done the pup will have no problems but you can go a long way to helping by finding a reputable breeder who does most if not all known checks on their animals, one that will also back you up for life (by this I mean take the dog back if for any reason you can`t keep him/her).

As Angela says why not look at lab rescues, there are many many that need loving homes and yours sounds ideal for one of these.

If a pup is your preference though then as said, look for a reputable breeder, I don`t know how often you visit LF but Sue and Wendy set up a website dedicated to labs and their health, it gives all sorts of info on what to check when looking for a pup along with specimens of the forms you should look for too, www.lab-health.co.uk
 

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I've got two half sisters out of the same Dam, and although they are very similar in some ways, they are also very, very different. Health wise, Indie will get or do anything, she is so accident prone. Tau on the other hand is fit as a fiddle, and has only had one day off colour in nearly three years now.

Good luck in your decision, Brad was obviously very much loved, and any dog would be lucky to have you as owners :)
 
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